Does it really matter what my intention is?

Intention setting is a key element of psychological wellness.


Where your attention and focus goes, so goes your behavior.


If you constantly remind yourself of all the things you can’t do, the likelihood of remembering what you do well (or the desire to try something new) decreases.


Intention setting is a great way to support ourselves in expanding out of the routines of life, but focusing on an area we want to improve or an area we want to explore.


While intention setting works well for a big goal, it can just as easily be a daily practice. For those interested in being more present in life, daily intention setting is practicing mindfulness!


Below is an example of how to set an intention each day:

Desire/Goal: I want to experience (feel) more positive each day.

Intention: I am going to end the day feeling more positive

Plan: I will start my day by not watching the news. I will only read positive things on social media.

Result: For one week (7 days), I do not watch the news in the mornings (action) and feel no different (result).


This is not a failed experiment!  The morning news may not be the problem. Go back to the list of plans and pick something else to try for the next week.

  • Examples of other action steps: I’ll tell myself today is a good day. I’ll walk 10 minutes each day at my lunch break.

When intending to make changes, it is always good to identify what is going well. Think of intention setting and goal achievement like a teeter-totter or a scale. Success requires balancing areas of growth with areas of strength.

  • Identify at least 2 areas of strength (maybe they are areas of resilience)

  • Identify 2 areas of growth


ALL areas of life connect to create psychological wellness

Often courage is needed to leave behind the old stories we tell ourselves to get to the future we dream about!


Dr. Erika McElroy

Smooth Rock Psychological Services, LLC


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